Scientists and health advocates are beginning to study why men typically die five years earlier than women. On average, American men live 75.2 years, compared with 80.4 years for women. Men who face leading causes of death, such as heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and AIDS, die at younger ages than women. This marked "health disparity" between men and women has attracted attention from scientists and men's advocacy groups, some of whom are calling for the establishment of a federal office of men's health within HHS. Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia, New Hampshire, Louisiana and Oklahoma are planning to establish men's health offices or commissions. Researchers say some of these problems can be attributed to risky behavior, alcohol use and failing to wear seat belts. Also, men seem to be reluctant to get help with their health; in a recent study, 40 percent of men said they'd put off seeing a doctor for a few days, and 17 percent said they'd wait a week. Even so, however, questions still remain as to why men die sooner than women.
To learn more about men's health issues:
- read this article in The New York Times